by David P. Greisman
Caleb Truax was fighting in front of a home crowd, appearing on an ESPN2 ďFriday Night FightsĒ undercard, and hoping to impress. But instead of defeating Ossie Duran and continuing to work toward a shot at a top middleweight, Truax came out flat and wound up with a draw.
That brought the 30-year-old Minnesotanís record to 23-1-2 (14 KOs). And it made Truax want to, well, make things right.
Truax spoke to BoxingScene.com on Jan. 9, reflecting on why he felt he didnít do well against Duran, and what could come next for him.
BoxingScene.com: How many times have you gone back and looked at the tape of your fight with Ossie Duran?
Truax: ďI watched it as soon as I got home on Friday night, man. I was disappointed and wanted to just go over it. Thatís the last time Iíll watch it. Iíll watch it again with my coach when we get together to see what I can work on, but Iím disappointed, and I donít want to watch it too many times.Ē
BoxingScene.com: Why are you disappointed?
Truax: ďI just fought like crap, man. I just had an off night and couldnít get anything going. And when I did, I couldnít sustain anything. I just had a really, really, really bad night.Ē
BoxingScene.com: Do you have any idea why it may have been an off night?
Truax: ďYou know, thatís kind of whatís frustrating is I canít really put my finger on any certain reason. Thereís a chance that I mightíve dropped too much weight too fast. I did have a cold like two weeks before the fight. I was little bit under the weather. It kind of screwed up my normal weight loss progression. I felt fine at the weigh-in. I didnít really feel drained or anything like that. I just didnít have the energy and didnít have what I needed to do to get the job done last Friday.Ē
BoxingScene.com: Youíve told me before that middleweight is the right division for you. Does what happened with this fight make you rethink that at all?
Truax: ďNo, not really. It was kind of an outside circumstance. I was a little bit sick, and thatís what affected my weight loss. Normally I make it ó I donít want to say with ease ó but I make it without any problems or anything like that. But Iím definitely going to keep sticking around middleweight, and eventually Iíll probably have to go up to super middleweight as I get older. But right now, 160 is where I want to stay at.Ē
BoxingScene.com: Just to remind people, what do you typically walk around at?
Truax: ďAbout 180.Ē
BoxingScene.com: Do you think that any of the difficulty you had in the Duran fight mightíve been because he was a late replacement opponent?
Truax: ďI donít want to use that as an excuse, man. I trained hard. I had about a seven-week training camp or something like that. We had about three weeks knowing that he was going to be the opponent. I had plenty of time to watch film.He did have a different style than [original opponent Derek] Ennis did, but I canít use that as an excuse. I was prepared and ready to go. I just didnít have it when I got into the ring.Ē
BoxingScene.com: How was Duran as an opponent? Did he have any tricks or certain things that made him a little bit more difficult, compounding things with what you were going through physically?
Truax: ďHeís just a veteran, man. I was talking to my buddy about this. I kinda likened him to Jamie Moyer, the old pitcher. He [Duran] doesnít hit hard. Heís not very fast. Heís not very quick. He just knows how to fight. He was just a vet who knows all the tricks. He had a pretty tight defense. And with my off night, I just couldnít get anything rolling.Ē
BoxingScene.com: You said on Twitter that you thought you won the fight 96-94 but werenít going to argue the draw. Why do you feel that? I donít want to say youíre OK with the draw, but why are you accepting of it?
Truax: ďIím not OK with it. I definitely feel like I won it, even after watching the tape.† I just donít think Iím in the spot to do it. I fought like crap, man. If it was me on a normal night, I wouldíve dominated Ossie Duran. The fact that Iím in this spot is my fault. So Iím not in the spot to argue, I donít think. Just accept it and move on. I get tired of hearing everybody bitch about decisions and referees when itís in the fighterís hands. Itís not like I was robbed or anything like that. I felt like I shouldíve won, but it wasnít like it was a terrible decision that they scored it even.Ē
BoxingScene.com: So what comes next for you?
Truax: ďI think Iím going to fight back in Minnesota in March, I think March 22. I want to get back in the ring as soon as possible, just to put on a good performance and get that out of my mind. And I think that going to be televised locally here on Fox Sports Net. And then hopefully May 1, again on ESPN, is what it sounds like.Ē
BoxingScene.com: Is it a rematch with Duran or potentially something else?
Truax: ďI donít know. Itís just the preliminary discussions.Ē
BoxingScene.com: Is there any interest in facing Duran again?
Truax: ďIíd fight him again, for sure. I doubt thatíll happen. Itís up to my promoters and my manager to see who comes next. If thatís whatís going to further my career, further my ranking or whatever, then Iím all for it. Iíd love to get that back and show everybody what I do on a good night. But I doubt thatíll happen.Ē
BoxingScene.com: Why do you doubt it?
Truax: ďI just think if it makes sense, as far as making my ranking go up, like I said, Iíd be all for it. But he was a late replacement, and he wasnít the first choice to begin with, so I doubt weíd go back to him.Ē
BoxingScene.com: I was thinking that itís a good thing that youíve got a fan base in Minnesota, because that could potentially bring another ESPN2 broadcast from there and featuring you, so you could try to make up for what happened.
Truax: ďI think youíre absolutely right. Like I said after the fight, thereís no room for off nights in boxing, and especially a guy like me whoís trying to prove himself and get onto the scene, I guess, and get on a big show or get on a big network. It sucks that thereís no room for error in a really unforgiving sport. But it is what it is, man. Next time out, Iíve got to impress, thatís for sure.Ē
BoxingScene.com: Have you heard anything, locally, as to whether theyíll still come out for you given what happened against Duran?
Truax: ďOh yeah, absolutely. It was a great night as far as Minnesota boxing goes, because [Mike] Tyson was involved [as promoter]. It was a much higher profile than my other fights. All the local media, the TV stations, radio, everything, were at the Target Center that night. Iíve already been on TV twice after the fight. Everybody is still behind me, thatís for sure. And most of the people thought I won and kind of thought I got jobbed, almost.Ē
BoxingScene.com: What else do you want people to know?
Truax: ďI just want everybody to know that that wasnít me. And I hope everybody will give me another look. A lot of times if you have a performance thatís not up to par, you get put on the backburner. I just want people to know that Iíll be back stronger than ever. Iíll learn from this draw. Itís not a loss. It didnít kill me or anything like that. I didnít get injured or anything. Iíll be back in March. Iím going to learn from it and continue towards getting a big fight in 2014.Ē
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